Hip-Hop: Influential Or Under The Influence ? The Identity Crisis
Music of any genre must and WILL evolve in order to survive the current and ever changing demands of the people; so why has hip-hop grown so stagnant? We are far removed from the legends of our greatest era in hip-hop with a few exceptions. Violence, propaganda, and conspiracy robbed us of some legends, while others despite the challenges of tragedy, rose to the occasion to carry the torch into the new millennium. Without naming names you pretty much have an idea who I'm referring to, but this "new age" of hip-hop has few shining stars today. So the question I pose to you today, is hip-hop still influential or is it under the influence ?
Part 1 : Identity Crisis
These days it's about tattoos, skinny jeans, skateboards and molly popping ; Hip-Hop we have an identity crisis. Is it me, or did hip-hop all of a sudden take on another culture ? Yeah, we rocked tats before that's nothing new, but full on ink, (sleeves, neck, face, etc.) that's rock culture. Not enough proof for you, okay, since when was ecstasy pills, molly's, and cocaine ever on our menu? Recreational drug usage usually stayed on the side of marijuana but now, we've crossed over into a night at Studio 54. Skateboarding...let's just get a few things clear. I respect the worldwide culture that skaters represent but tell Weezy and these other posers to chill. Instead of our influence becoming far reaching we've taken on other persona's to remain relevant. We're part skater, part rock n' roll and ZERO influence.
The new hybrid rappers, come with little to no MC efficiency, consistency, or originality. Who are we today as a culture, besides an adaptation of other genres? The lack of identity has gotten so bad that we have resorted to stealing from our own culture !
High top fades, and gold rope chains are back. Kids now identify with an era, they weren't even born in. Instead of cutting their own path, they've taken on old styles as a sort of reinvention of self without even paying homage to the originators. I'm not saying hip-hop should be uniform but at least TRY to be different. And yeah it translates to the music as well. We don't even sound like the region we come from anymore. Adapting other styles outside of your area doesn't make you diverse, it makes you a carbon copy of what's hot. Hip-Hop is afraid to make the mistakes it once made. Now, it isn't all bad, some of us DO get it. Hip-Hop still is the youngest genre out there so there is time to get better. But for now it's time for hip-hop to put the molly down, forget the skateboard, ease up of the piercing's and ink and reevaluate our proper place in music history. Keep it locked for Part 2.